Image by: Keith Allison
By Thomas Stone
The 2012-2013 NBA season is certainly in full swing, as evidenced by the daily headlines, fan fervor and super-skinny Charles Barkley (eat something, dude). And isn’t it nice that instead of a strike-shortened season like we endured last year, we get a full serving of b-ball this time out? Now we get to really enjoy the drama that November basketball brings.
Here are the five best storylines from the season so far …
1 – Disastrous beginning for the Los Angeles Lakers
It wasn’t supposed to be like this. NBA fans were crying foul over the mighty L.A. Lakers acquiring superstar center Dwight Howard and aging spark plug of a point guard Steve Nash. So was it karma that caused the Lakers to start the season with one win and four loses? They rightfully dumped their coach Mike Brown, who should have never had that job in the first place. Now the Lakers are rebounding, having won six out of their last 10 games.
2 – New York teams off to a surprising start
Conventional wisdom had the New York Knicks pegged as a team that would suffer greatly after they declined to keep last season’s Asian sensation Jeremy Lin on their roster. What were they thinking? They were thinking about winning, that’s what. They are currently sitting atop the Atlantic Division with a 9-4 record.
Guess who is also in the Atlantic Division and who also has a 9-4 record? The Brooklyn Nets, that’s who. In their first year since bailing on New Jersey, the B-Nets are hard-charging into the history books with a season-opening stretch of spectacular basketball.
3 – The rise of the Los Angeles Clippers
For years, the L.A. Clippers were the bottom-feeding “other team” in Los Angeles. But no more – the team is packed with talent, including upstart center DeAndre Jordan who appears more athletic than that other big man in L.A. that everybody is talking about. The only problem is, after starting off the season at 8-2, they have lost four games in a row. Uh oh. Maybe the curse continues …
4 – The lowly Washington Wizards
I happens every season. Some down and out team limps into a fresh 82 and the losses quickly pile up. It starts to become a really big deal as the squad inches closer to breaking professional sports team losing-streak records. This season, it is the Washington Wizards who are the league’s official goat at 0-12. And it doesn’t show any signs of improving for the Wiz as two of their best players are hobbled right now.
5 – Anti-flopping rules
The NBA has long been a haven for floppers. So when the league announced a new penalty mechanism to deal with the bad actors, many rejoiced. But don’t count the ballers among that group – the player’s union said it will file a complaint against the NBA with the National Labor Relations Board over the monetary penalties accessed after a player flops more than once.
It’s a $5,000 fine for the second offense which escalates up to a $30,000 charge for the fifth instance. That’s pocket change for these lads.